Let's start with the very beginning. In 1889, the Marufuku Company was founded. The company proceded to sell cards for hanafuda, a Japanese game, for sixty years. Then, in 1949, Hiroshi Yamauchi changed the company's name to Nintendo Playing Card Company, Ltd. The company's manufacturing process was improved with modern equipment. In 1953, Nintendo became the first Japanese company to manufacture plastic playing cards.
Soon after that, in 1959, Nintendo began to make cards with pictures of Walt Disney characters. This move led them into the children's market for the first time. Then, in 1963, Nintendo changed the company name to Nintendo Co., Ltd.
In the mid-1970's, Nintendo joined forces with Mitsubishi Elecric, now Mitsubishi Group, to create a home video-game system.The system was introduced in Japan in 1977, being called Color TV Game 6.The system played six versions of games similar to Pong, which had already become popular in the United States. After seeing the success of this system, Nintendo opened a subsidiary, Nintendo of America, in 1980. The year after that, Donkey Kong, a coin operated arcade game, became a huge hit all across the country. This was the first game that Mario starred in. He eventually became the company's symbol.
In 1983, Nintendo introduced, Famicom, a home video game system, in Japan. The system did amazingly; by the mid-1980s over 35 percent of Japanese households owned one. In 1985, Famicom was brought to the U.S. and dubbed the Nintendo Entertainment System. The system was the most technologically advanced one out there.
The NES featured an eight-bit computer, stereo sound, and graphics that were, at the time, quite advanced.
Into the late 1980s, Nintendo owned more than 80 percent of the American home video game market. Surveys showed that Mario had become more popular than Mickey Mouse. Nintendo was reshaping the country.
However, in 1989, Sega stepped in to take their piece of the pie. They released Sega Genesis, a system with a sixteen-bit computer that could produce better graphics than the NES. After two years of being behind, Nintendo released the Super NES in 1991.
The system fared quite well and eventually overtook Genesis as the most popular game system. After a few years of leading the way, the SNES turned the throne over to N64, which came out in 1996. The system featured 3-D graphics and was capable of producing images of astounding quality.
Now, in 2000, Nintendo currently has a DVD based system, code named "Dolphin," in development. It is expected to come out in the next year.
Most information thanks to Microsoft Encarta.